Triptych, an NFTS graduation animation, directed by Katia Lom and produced by Nikita Leibovici, has won first prize for Best Experimental Film at the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF).

RIIFF is a major destination on the festival circuit and is recognised by the Academy as a Qualifying Festival in all short film categories. The festival welcomes filmmakers from all over the world to Rhode Island—one of America’s oldest cities.

About Triptych: A reflection on the nature of time and memory as a daughter empties her late father’s home of his belongings.

Katia said: “It is a huge honour to receive this award. The festival is a major international event highly regarded around the world, recognized both by the Academy Awards and BAFTA.  For our film to be appreciated in this way is very special, particularly as Triptych crosses the genres of film, poetry, fine art, documentary, fiction/narrative and animation, using live action sequences shot on 16mm and animation that was all done in-camera combining a variety of techniques (stop-motion, pixilation, hand-drawn and cut-outs).  Triptych is certainly not a typical NFTS animation film and explores a different approach to narrative that is non-linear.  Shawn Quirke who programmed the festival was a big supporter of the film and it means a lot to have people of such calibre connect with the work in this way and give it recognition.” 

On the inspiration behind the film, Katia continued: “Triptych is based on the true story of my mother at the age of four escaping through the woods at night with her parents what was then Czechoslovakia in the run up to the Slansky trials, the first anti-Semitic show trial in Eastern Europe that took place in 1952.  Although a personal story I wanted to make a film about the universal experience of loss, generational trauma and displacement as a consequence of political and armed conflict.  I worked with Angelina Karpovich (NFTS Screenwriting MA graduate) to shape a visual poem of these ideas and emotions.  Every member of the team also played an important role in then building up around this concept to shape the film.  It really was a team effort, and every element from sound, editing, music and text have become interlinked and could not work without each other.  The film is a testament to the talent at NFTS.  We were also very fortunate to have Lisa Diveney and Simon Stephens as a cast who brought incredible life to the work, and our team are very much indebted to them as well for their contribution.”

The Team:

Katia Lom, Director/Animator/Co-Screenwriter/Production Designer; Nikita Leibovici, Producer; Angelina Karpovich, Co-Screenwriter; Jonathan Flint, Cinematographer; Rosalind Grégoire, Production Designer; Frida Lizine, Celia Moreno Madrigal, Production Managers; Patrick MILES Widdop, Editor; Felipe Bolaño, Sound Designer & Dubbing Mixer; Anna Bauer, Composer; Eryk Hildebrand, Colourist & Online Editor

More information on the film can be found here and information on the NFTS Directing Animation MA can be found at www.nfts.co.uk/animation

 

 

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An incredible 10 NFTS alumni have had their projects selected for this year’s Creative England iFeatures low-budget feature initiative, that has credits including the BAFTA nominated Lady Macbeth produced by NFTS alumna Fodhla Cronin-O’Reilly.

Half the selected features include NFTS graduates as key members of the teams. Each of the projects are from first-time filmmakers and they will be taken through an entire cycle of development. This will include support for all aspects of the creative process, from inception to the stage when they are ready to be introduced to the market. Projects include:

A Voice And Its Echo: Simon Cartwright (writer-director & NFTS Directing Animation MA alumnus); Emilie Jouffroy (producer) and Kamilla Hodol (producer) – both NFTS Producing MA graduates: A woman rediscovers her love of music when she returns home to the Yorkshire Moors and uncovers what might be the entrance to another world.

Here Before: Sophie Vickers (producer & NFTS Producing MA graduate); Stacey Gregg (writer-director) A taut and sophisticated psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland.

AVI: Jonathan Schey (writer-director); Rachelle Constant (producer & NFTS BAME Leadership Programme participant) An eccentric Hassidic Jewish bachelor, struggling to be matched for marriage, gets tempted by life in the outside world.

The White Stork: Meg Campbell (director & NFTS Directing Fiction MA graduate); Marie-Elena Dyche (producer & NFTS Producing MA graduate); Oliver Henderson (writer & NFTS Screenwriting MA graduate) A disillusioned mother forms an unlikely relationship with her daughter’s classmate, and becomes convinced that the pair were switched at birth.

Blue Jean: Georgia Oakley (writer-director); Helene Sifre (producer & NFTS Producing MA graduate) In 1988, a closeted teacher is pushed to the brink when a new student threatens to expose her sexuality.

Across the Water: Andrea Harkin (Director & NFTS Directing Fiction MA graduate); Suzanne Cowie (Writer) A terrified young woman must deal with her unwanted pregnancy, in a country where having an abortion can mean life in prison.

 

The NFTS Animation department has done it again with graduation animation, Inanimate, directed by Lucia Bulgheroni and produced by Lennard Ortmann winning the Special Jury Award at the 2018 BAFTA Student Film Awards, which took place at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Friday 29th June.

Lucia Bulgheroni with her award and the jury
Lucia Bulgheroni with her award and the jury

The Student Film Awards are a global BAFTA initiative, and a key component to BAFTA’s year round commitment to discovering and supporting new talent and career starters, whatever their background, race or gender. This year’s nine finalists were selected from 469 submissions by students at film schools in 35 countries across the world, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

This is Lucia’s second major award having won a prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where it was one of just 17 films chosen from 2,426 submissions from film schools worldwide.

The Special Jury Prize was awarded to Lucia by a panel of industry luminaries including Amy Adrion (Half the Picture), Jen McGowan (Kelly & CalRust Creek), Justin Simien (Dear White People), Jon Turteltaub (National TreasureCool Runnings), Kim Yutani (Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival) and writing duo Dick Clement and Ian LaFrenais (The CommitmentsFlushed Away).

Lucia said: "Making a film is an amazing journey. What I learned most is that you have to trust yourself, because when you do that, it is actually when you start to be satisfied by yourself and make great things.”

Stop frame animation, Inanimate is about a woman who loses her certainty about reality and discovers she is much more than just a puppet: Katrine has a normal life, a normal job, a normal boyfriend and a normal apartment in a normal city. Or at least that’s what she thinks, until one day everything starts falling apart literally!

Still from Inanimate

The Team:

Lucia Bulgheroni - Director/Animator; Lennard Ortmann – Producer; Drew Eu – Screenwriter; Ronnie Mcquillan – Cinematographer; Kristina Kovacs - Production Designer; Alex Mcardle - Production Manager; Raphael Pereira – Editor; Louise Burton – Sound Designer & Dubbing Mixer; Jose Pavli – Composer; Niall Harty - Cg Lead; Amy Gibson - Lead Compositor; Hugh Howlett - Colourist & Online Editor

For more information about the NFTS Directing Animation MA, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/animation 

Facing It, an animation graduation film directed by Sam Gainsborough, produced by Jimmy Campbell-Smith and co-written by Louisa Wood has won ‘Best Student Film’ at the World Festival of Animated Film, ‘Animafest Zagreb’ in Croatia.

The award follows hot on the heels of the success of two other NFTS graduation animation films – Poles Apart directed by Paloma Baeza which won the ‘BAFTA for Best Short Animation’ earlier this year, and Inanimate directed by Lucia Bulgheroni which won third prize in the ‘Cinefondation selection’ at Cannes Film Festival and has been shortlisted for the upcoming ‘BAFTA Student Film Awards’ in LA.

Facing It mixes stop-motion with live-action and explores the psyche of character Sean, who is forced to confront his own unhappy memories and relationships in an evening that will leave him changed forever.

Director of Facing It, Sam Gainsborough at Animafest Zagreb

'Animafest Zagreb’, created in 1972 in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, is an exclusively animation festival promoting upcoming filmmakers and showcasing animation in all its different forms – from traditional drawings, to stop motion, CGI, to experimental cross-media films.

The second oldest film festival completely dedicated to animation, ‘Animafest Zagreb’ festival brings the best of animation from all over the world, with over 300 films, 200 international guests and more than 20 000 visitors. Festival awards include prizes given in the Short Film Competition, Feature film Competition, Student Film Competition, Children Films, Site-specific competition and Croatian competition.

Co-writer of Facing It and Screenwriting MA graduate Louisa Wood says: “It was such an honour to have Facing It recognised by ‘Animafest Zagreb’. I'm very proud of Sam and the team for all the hard work they've put in to make this wonderful film. It was lovely to read the Jury comments about the characters being emotive and expressive. Sam's animation technique is perfect for externalising the internal. We decided early on not to have any dialogue and let the faces tell the story, so it was therefore extremely important that we got the character Sean's emotional journey absolutely spot on at the writing stage so that Director Sam could use the detailed beats during the animation process. It was a fun project to be involved in, right down to having my hands covered in red paint and my face replaced by spinning Plasticine!”

Sam Gainsborough, graduate of the Directing Animation MA, says of the eight-minute animation: “I really wanted to make a film that people of different backgrounds could relate to. The film is about celebrating the imperfections we all have, rather than trying to repress them. I’m so pleased that the audience connected to the experience of the main character, Sean.”

He continues: “It was amazing to win the award at ‘Animafest Zagreb’. The selection of films at the festival were beautiful, thought provoking and hugely inspiring. It was fantastic to have people respond to Facing It in such a positive way.”

The selection Jury at ‘Animafest Zagreb’ were made up of Animator and Assistant Professor Darko Masnec, Vimeo Curator Meghan Oretsky, Animator and Sound Designer Natko Stipaničev, and Painter/experimental animator Chi-Sui Wang.

Jury Comments said of Facing It: “We were immediately pulled into the wondrous world of our student film winner, Facing It, which was built with an incredibly creative and unique visual technique. Each character's face was vibrantly expressive and emotive, and the story of social anxiety as a common obstacle for all people (especially artists) a comforting and sweet one.”

Producing MA graduate Jimmy Campbell-Smith adds: Facing It was a massive leap into the unknown for the whole team so it’s absolutely thrilling to be recognised at ‘Animafest Zagreb’. Above all, credit goes to Director Sam and the creative team for the countless hours (and ridiculously large amount of plasticine) that went in to bringing this to life. They deserve it!’

Facing It has also been selected for the ‘Graduation Films in Competition’ category at Annecy Festival and the ‘Mclaren Award for Best New Animation’ at Edinburgh Film Festival later this month.

Facing It Credits: Sam Gainsborough, Director/ Animator/ Co-Screenwriter; Jimmy Campbell-Smith, Producer; Louisa Wood, Co-Screenwriter; Bruno Grilo, Cinematographer; Demian Lovett & Lilla Vindics, Assistant Directors; Fiona Guest, Production Designer; Garry David Frost, Production Manager; Jenny Martin, Production Co-Ordinator; Mdhamiri A Nkemi, Editor; Adam Woodhams, Sound Design & Dubbing Mixer; Jack Newton, Composer; Oliver Buus, Lead Compositor; Daniel Quirke, Compositor; Laura Jane Dart, Colourist & Online Editor.

Applications for the NFTS Directing Animation MA are open until the 5th July 2018 (the two-year MA course starts in January 2019) – for more information and to apply, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/animation

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NFTS graduation animation, Inanimate directed by Lucia Bulgheroni and produced by Lennard Ortmann has won both the ‘Jury Award’ in the Graduation Film Category and the ‘Junior Jury for a Graduation Film’ special prize at Annecy Film Festival - Europe’s biggest animation film festival.

The stop frame animation explores puppet Katrine’s quest for truth as she discovers an ethereal and haunting world which plummets around her, in a brilliantly vivid tale of hope, angst, disillusionment and acceptance. Lucia, who graduated from the NFTS Directing Animation MA this year, used Super Sculpey, a material similar to clay that can be baked, to bring puppets Katrine and Patrick to life; delivering a hyper-real, dark and dreamlike quality to the expressive animation film. More than 15 puppets and sets were created for Inanimate, culminating in a blend of live action, pixilation and stop-motion animation and the longest single shot sequence in NFTS animation history.  

Director and Animator, Lucia comments on the creation of Inanimate: ‘The idea came to me with a vision of a soul inside a puppet, suddenly ripping out of its own body to get out. I always resonated with the idea that we are souls, or consciousness, inside bodies who were experiencing life, and then we return to our original form of consciousness.’

Inanimate was also selected for the prestigious Cinéfondation programme at Cannes Festival where it won Third Prize and is a finalist in the BAFTA Student Film Awards for animation and selected in the ‘Mclaren Award for Best New Animation’ at Edinburgh International Film Festival, both later this month.

Founded in 1960 and organised by CITIA, Annecy Festival's aim is to reveal and promote creations by the greatest animation studios as well as young talents. The Graduation Short Category jury included Comic strip author, Pénélope Bagieu, Director Bruno Forzani and Distribution Director Laurence Petit, whilst the Junior Jury were made up of four young students, from the OTTOmani association and Atelier de cinema d’Animation d’Annecy et de Haute-Savoie (AAA).

Inanimate is a stop frame animation film; a style the NFTS is particularly famed for as alumni include Oscar winning, Wallace and Gromit director, Nick Park and Peppa Pig creator, Mark Baker.

The Team:

Lucia Bulgheroni - Director/Animator; Lennard Ortmann – Producer; Drew Eu – Screenwriter; Ronnie Mcquillan – Cinematographer; Kristina Kovacs - Production Designer; Alex Mcardle - Production Manager; Raphael Pereira – Editor; Louise Burton – Sound Designer & Dubbing Mixer; Jose Pavli – Composer; Niall Harty - Cg Lead; Amy Gibson - Lead Compositor; Hugh Howlett - Colourist & Online Editor; zsófi szemerédy, PR and Marketing

Applications for the NFTS Directing Animation MA are open until the 5th July 2018 (the two-year MA course starts in January 2019) – for more information and to apply, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/animation

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We caught up with British Short Animation BAFTA winner and NFTS Directing Animation MA student, Paloma Baeza to find out more about her multi award-winning animation, Poles Apart, which tells the story of un unlikely meeting between a polar bear and a grizzly bear in the melting Arctic.

Paloma Baeza and Ser En Low collecting their BAFTA

The film has also won 'Best Student Film' at the prestigious Annie Awards and the McClaren Award for New British Animation at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

How does it feel to win a BAFTA and an Annie Award?! Well it’s really amazing.  The film’s success has surpassed our expectations and it’s so great to see that it’s connecting with such varied audiences.  

L-R Rocio Gimenez - Art Director (non NFTS) Paula Gimenez Production Design Paloma Baeza & Ser En Low Annie picking up their Best Student Film Annie

Can you tell us a bit more about how you came up with the story for Poles Apart and what inspired you? I was looking for a story primarily about two characters since I knew that would be achievable with our time and budget. And I loved the idea of the characters being animals.  I saw this article describing an Arctic landscape seen from a helicopter, with a single dark figure moving across it - a grizzly bear.  It described the effects of global warming on a melting Arctic and how Grizzlies and Polar bears were increasingly coming together.  This seemed like the perfect backdrop for an unlikely friendship, with a message about our changing world at it’s heart.

Paloma Baeza animating Poles Apart

What kind of challenges did you face when making Poles Apart? It was always an ambitious project, so we had to be very strict with our schedule and make sure we completed our weekly shots, even it meant staying late sometimes. One of the biggest issues on long shots was that temperature changes made the set move - which meant we couldn’t turn the lights off mid-shot.  We’d have stay until the shot was finished, sometimes taking turns to animate through the night.  

Behind the scenes photo from Poles Apart

You were an actress before you came to the NFTS – what was the driving factor behind your career change? I had written and directed some live action shorts, but had always been interested in animation.  This had led to me experimenting with stop-motion at home, not really knowing how it worked.  Eventually I felt that if I didn’t explore this fully now, I never would, and I applied to the NFTS.

What were the highlights of studying at the NFTS? I loved collaborating with other students from all disciplines, and our team on Poles Apart was exceptional.  I also think each project we did as we went along taught me something and I enjoyed that challenge.

Still from Poles Apart

What are your ambitions now you have graduated? To keep telling stories!  I feel very liberated now I understand animation in the way I hoped I would, so there are several potential projects in the pipeline, from a hybrid film to a contained sitcom starring more talking animals.

If you would like to follow in Paloma's footsteps, more info at www.nfts.co.uk/animation
 

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At the NFTS, our credits tell the story. These are just some of the recent credits from our graduates.

Recent Cinema Releases

Films with NFTS graduate involvement grossed more than $14bn at the box office in 2018.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Art Director Gary Jopling; Draughtspersons Agis Pyrlis & Gareth Sprey; Junior Draughtsperson Irene Dimarca; Concept Artist: VFX Eva Kuntz; Art Department Coordinator Katherine Pearl; Key First Assistant Sound Tom Harrison; Sound Trainee Hosea Ntaborwa; Sound Trainee: Dailies Ashley Sinani

Yesterday Assistant Art Director Seeta Lingham; Concept Artist Elo Soode; DFX Supervisor Dillan Nicholls; Lead Compositor Nicholas Zissimos; Sound Effects Editors Dayo James & Robert Malone; 1st Assistant Sound Tom Fennell; Sound Trainee Ashley Sinani; Assistant Colourist Sara Buxton

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Digital Matte Painter Menelaos Peristeridis; Digital Compositor/Key Artist Martin Cobelo

Diego Maradona Dialogue Editor Justin Dolby; Sound FX Recordist/Editor Matis Rei

Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon  Co-Director Richard Phelan; Executive Producer/Story/Characters Nick Park; Compositor Graham Dorey; Animators Frej Bengtsson & Marie Lechevallier

Aladdin Concept Artists Max Berman & Kimberley Pope; Art Department Assistant Owen Robertson; Draughtsman Will Houghton-Connell; Assistant Construction Co-ordinator Anna Bennett Squire; Lighting TD Boyan Baynov; Layout/Facial Capture Artist Jake Ferris; Digital Compositors Felipe Olid Guerrero & Victor Tomi

Rocketman ADR Mixer Crowd Linda Brenon; Set Designer James Collins; Arranger/Conductor/Orchestrator Ben Foster; Assistant Colourist Sara Buxton

Stan & Ollie  Editor Ùna Nì Dhonghaile; Sound Recordist Danny Hambrook; 1st Assistant Sound Dom Corbisiero; Assistant Colourist Sara Buxton

Mary Queen of Scots  ADR Editor Adele Fletcher; Digital Compositor Rob Rankin; Assistant Art Director Isona Rigau; Draughtsman Andrew Tilhoo; Junior Draughtsman Irene Dimarca

Mary Poppins Returns Concept Artist Eva Kuntz; Junior Draughtsman Jamie Burrows; ADR Mixer Linda Brenon; Graphic Designer [Reshoots] Louise Begbie; Digital Compositors David Sheldon & Ruochen Wang; Production Secretary Caroline Houghton

Bird Box  Rerecording Mixer Sven Taits; Sound Design Editor Robert Malone; Sound Effects Editor Dayo James

Bohemian Rhapsody 2nd Unit DoP Nanu Segal; Dialogue/ADR Editor Jens Rosenlund Petersen; ADR Mixer Linda Brenon; Assistant Sound Editor Louise Burton; Animator for Double Negative Thomas Phillips-Howard; Dailies Colourist Doychin Margoevski; Location Marshall Hannah Cole

The Favourite  Draughtsman Agis Pyrlis; Assistant Colourist Sara Buxton; Dailies Colourist Doychin Margoevski

White Boy Rick  Director Yann Demange

Ready Player One  Visual Effects Producer Ben Lock; VFX Artist Shivani Shah; Compositor Adam Arnot; Lighting TDs Carlo Alberto Bagliolid & Boyan Baynov; 1st Assistant Sound: Mo-Cap Unit Alex Bryce

Avengers: Infinity War  VFX Supervisor Dan Snape; Environments TD Zach du Toit; Visual Effects Artist Cat Harris; FX TD Matt Moyes; Lighting TD Carlo Alberto Bagliolid; Paint & Rotoscopy Artist Kamaljit Bains; VFX Artist Cat Harris; VFX Production Assistant Beatriz de la Osa Arcos; Layout Artists Shivani Shah & Jake Ferris; Digital Compositors Manuel Perez, Graham Dorey, Adam Arnot, David Sheldon & Felipe Olid Guerrero; Draughtspersons Isona Rigau & Alexandra Toomey; Junior Draughtsperson Jamie Burrows

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald  Director David Yates; Concept Artists Kim Frederiksen & Eva Kuntz; Assistant Art Director James Spencer; Stand By Art Director Huw Arthur; Junior Draughtsman Jelle Rebry; Lighting TD Carlo Alberto Bagliolid; Environments TD Zach du Toit; VFX Artist Jakob Lundbye; Sound Effects Editors Dayo James & Robert Malone; Assistant Sound Edtor Sashko Potter Micevski;1st Assistant Sound Liam Cotter;  2nd Unit Sound Mixer Ivor Talbot

Cinematography graduate Roger Deakins won a long-overdue Oscar for Blade Runner: 2049

Recent TV Highlights

Peaky Blinders Series 5 Dialogue & ADR Editor Adele Fletcher

Killing Eve Series 2 Co-Executive Producer Francesca Gardiner; Production Designer Laurence Dorman; Art Director Romain Hémeray

The Handmaid’s Tale Series 3 DoP Stuart Biddlecombe

Horrible Histories Series 8 Boom Operator Joanna Andrews

Dark Money Director/Associate Producer Lewis Arnold; Composer Sarah Warne; Production Manager Bryony Chaplin; 2nd Unit DoP Matthias Pilz

Year of the Rabbit DoP Daniel Stafford-Clark; Production Secretary Sophie Halton

Game of Thrones Season 8 Draughtsperson Jamie Burrows; Special Effects Technician Jennifer Groves; Concept Artist Jessica Sinclair

Black Mirror Series 5 Part 1: Striking Vipers Editor Nicolas Chaudeurge; Production Sound Mixer Ivor Talbot
Black Mirror Series 5 Part 3: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too Digital Compositor Roni Rodrigues; Location Marshall Hannah Cole

Good Omens Director Douglas Mackinnon; DoP Gavin Finney; Production Secretary Alicja Kielbasa, Production Co-ordinator: Pre-Production Hussain Casey-Ahmed; Location Marshall Hannah Cole; 2nd Sound Assistant Catherine Duffy

Sex Education Creator and Writer; Laurie Nunn

Cleaning Up Director Lewis Arold Director Robert McKillop

Fortitude: Metin Huseyin, Director; David Luther, DoP; Luke Hill, Production Designer; Max Berman, Concept Artist; Kimberley Pope, Concept Artist; Tom Goodwin, Draughtsman; Sophie Neil, Draughtsman; Chloe Kletsa, Art Dept Assistant

Britannia: Metin Huseyin, Director; Balazs Bolygo, DoP; Allan Niblo, Producer; Martin Jensen, Re-recording Mixer; Alex Ellerington, Supervising Sound Editor; Zach du Tait, VFX Generalist

Better Call Saul: Minkie Spiro, Director

The Missing: Tom Shanktland, Director; Una Ni Dhonghaile, Editor

Troy: Fall Of A City Editor Nicolas Chaudeurge; Compositor Bence Varga

Silent Witness Series XXI DoP Vanessa Whyte; Sound Mixer Ronald Bailey; Sound Assistant Nik Stojkov

Doc Martin Series VIII Sound Effects Editor Vicente Villaescusa

Doctor Who Series X Director Bill Anderson; DoP Stuart Biddlecombe

Call The Midwife Series VII Cinematographer Stuart Biddlecombe; 2nd Assistant Sound Joanna Andrews; Sound Assistant Michael Sinden

McMafia  Sound Recordist Ivor Talbot; Art Department Assistant Tom Coxon; Sound Editor Robert Malone

Inside No 9 Production Designer Dennis De Groot; DoP Stephan Pehrsson

Peaky Blinders Series IV Key Boom Operator Sarah Howe

Strictly Come Dancing  Production Runner Jamie Minty

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Find a course

Overview

This unique two-year MA aims to equip students with the skills to write, direct and animate innovative films. NFTS graduate films have won some of the most prestigious awards in animation including the BAFTA for Short Animation for the last five years in a row.

Graduates include Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, whose debut A Grand Day Out was his NFTS graduation film, and Peppa Pig creator Mark Baker.

Students will collaborate with those in other specialisms to make several films, putting into practice the skills they learn during the course. In the second year, students have their own work spaces and equipment to make their graduation film, which are finished in professional sound stages and post-production facilities – with all production costs met by the School.

We are the only UK animation course based in a film studio, so we can cater for ambitious ideas.

All NFTS students can attend the School’s masterclasses programme, with recent guests including Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve), Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona),  Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here, We Need to Talk About Kevin), Louis Theroux, and M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Glass).

Recent credits and successes

What you will study

Our aim is to help you create films that will steer the animation industry into new and exciting directions. The first year is packed full of inspiring workshops led by talented filmmakers and industry professionals covering a range of topics, including improving your animation skills, writing better narratives and developing fresh approaches to design and techniques. In the second year, you will direct a full production team to bring your vision to life, using the school's state-of-the-art production facilities.

We encourage all forms of visual storytelling; including drawn and stop-motion animation, life-size pixelation and even puppeteering. Students are inspired to push the boundaries; to find interesting new animated techniques and fresh approaches to storytelling.

Learning to work with a team is central to the course. Collaborative workshops with other filmmaking disciplines, help animation directors understand the role of each crew member and the skills they bring to the filmmaking process.

 

Download programme specification

Download course outline

Current or recent tutors

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £14,800 per year (for January 2020 intake)

Overseas £31,000 per year (for January 2020 intake)

The tuition fees for January 2021 intake wil be confirmed in the spring of 2020.

We also welcome EU/EEA students on the same rate as our UK students – and those enrolling onto a two-year MA in January 2020 will continue to pay home fees for the second year of their MA. However, we are currently unable to confirm if this will remain the case for those starting their first year in 2021.

In the last year, 8 in 10 UK MA students received support, with more than £800,000 given out in total.

There is a compulsory, non-refundable £60 application fee for each MA application. A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place. As a part of our admissions selection process, successful applicants are required to attend a selection workshop for five days, which has a fee of £150. 

All production costs are included in the course fees, including the use of School facilities and equipment. The School also covers the travel costs for curriculum-related off-site visits. Students are expected to provide their own laptops. International students will need to pay for any visas that may be required for attendance at non-UK festivals as part of the course.

The NFTS is committed to ensuring it is open to students of genuine ability, no matter what their background or financial circumstances. We don’t want anybody to be put off applying for a place at the NFTS because of the cost, which is why we award more scholarships and bursaries to British students, relative to the size of our student body, than almost any other educational institution in the UK.

At the NFTS you will get far more time learning directly from tutors, in real production facilities and on real projects, than in the vast majority of film schools or universities – and we won’t charge you extra for the cost of productions or materials. The specialist nature of our courses mean that our students gain the relevant skills and experience they need to go straight into the industry.

Showcase

Every year, our students direct a number of short films.

 

Entry requirements

We are looking for people with a desire to tell stories, who have a strong visual sense and the skills to direct a production team. While we take applicants from many varied backgrounds, the course is ideal for someone who works in the animation industry and has reached a stage where they want to develop their own work and become a director.

Successful applicants should have either a degree in a relevant subject, such as animation, graphics, illustration or fine arts; taken an intensive short animation course; or worked in the animation industry. All applicants must show a passion for animation though the work they are developing. 

As a part of our admissions selection process, successful applicants are required to attend a selection workshop for five days. The 2020 workshop dates will be from 1 September until 5 September.

For international students, more information about our entry requirements, including Visa and English language requirements, can be found here

If you have any questions, please email info@nfts.co.uk.

How to apply

Application deadline: 09 Jul 2020

 

All applications must be accompanied by the following supporting materials:

  • A Portfolio of Animation/Moving Image with a maximum running time of 20 minutes. Your submission must include a complete film created by you. It can be either a personal or commissioned project, but it should be more than a simple exercises done on a previous course.
  • A Portfolio of Still Images. This can include illustrations, sketchbook work, digital artwork, photography of puppets and sets that you have made or anything you think will suitable for your application.

Because the course focuses on collaboration and team work we have a workshop as a part of the interviewing process. The workshop gives us all the chance to meet in a working environment, and for you to learn about storytelling for short animated films. We provide extensive feedback to your work and candidates find the workshop very useful even if they were unsuccessful with getting on the course.

You can apply online by clicking on BEGIN YOUR APPLICATION below. We are happy to receive applications at any time up until the midnight of the application deadline date.

Begin your application